LITTLE BOSTON — Port Gamble Bay has been closed to shellfish harvesting until Dec. 10, after 30,000 gallons of wastewater were reported to have spilled from the Port Gamble S’Klallam’s wastewater treatment system.
Stuart Whitford, manager of the Kitsap County Health District’s Water Pollution Identification and Correction Program, said his agency closed the bay to commercial shellfish harvesting and is advising against recreational shellfishing, also until Dec. 10.
Whitford said the spill occurred at or near lift station No. 2, south of Point Julia, which delivers wastewater to an upland drain field. He said the spill was noticed Monday morning and was fixed by 7 a.m. He didn’t have any further details.
According to the state Department of Ecology, contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.
It's at least the sixth wastewater-related beach closure in Kitsap County since October.
On Nov. 19, stormwater inundated wastewater systems and caused sewer overflows that contaminated several areas of Kitsap County. Between 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of wastewater-tainted stormwater spilled into Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, and 100,000 gallons spilled into Port Washington and Sinclair Inlet. Annapolis Public Beach was temporarily closed because wastewater was discharged that had received primary treatment and disinfection but bypassed secondary treatment.
Appletree Cove in Kingston was closed from Nov. 1-13 after 5,000 to 10,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a cracked sewer main pipe at West Kingston Road and Marshall Lane.
Also on Nov. 1, a spill closed Port Washington Narrows between Point Herron and Tracyton near Bremerton. The closure included Evergreen Rotary Park, Lent Landing Park and Lions Park.